Art Critical: Writing about Artworks

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  • Topic: Paint, Painting, Oil painting
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  • Published : March 28, 2011
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Art Critical: Writing About Artworks
Frame: Structural/Cultural/Postmodern
Artists: Brett Whiteley and Philp Wolfhagen
Paintings: Whiteley’s ‘River at Marulan (Reading Einstein’s Geography)’ & Wolfhagen’s ‘ Landscape Semaphore No 8’

Brett Whiteley and Philp Wolfhagen are two very interesting artists, with two very different styles. The two paintings being analysed are Whiteley’s ‘River at Marulan (Reading Einstein’s Geography)’ & Wolfhagen’s ‘ Landscape Semaphore No 8’.

Both artists have different intentions about what they are trying to say to the viewer. In Wolfhagen’s painting, he mentions that he wants the viewer, to allow the viewer to listen to his or her inner voices whiles viewing the painting. Whiteley has different intentions of what he wants his viewers to think. His paintings may appear empty at first glance, but he entices us to fill in the gaps ourselves.

Whiteley and Wolfhagen use completely different mediums to suit their entirely different styles. Whiteley prefers using silk-screen and etching although, he is a trained draughtsman. His skill as a painter though, particularly his handling of colour (his favourite colour being ultramarine blue) should be accredited. Wolfhagen favours oil paint and beeswax on linen for his masterpieces. Although he has majored in Printmaking, he had never been taught the actual painting technique. After purchasing a book about painting, and proper techniques, he soon discovered he wanted texture to his paintings, and turned to beeswax and oil paints, but painting with a palette knife, not a brush, to keep colour mixes clean and pure. He also likes how the knife/blade facets tonal gradations as opposed to the blur you would achieve from a brush.

Whiteley’s ‘River at Marulan (Reading Einstein’s Geography)’ uses a wide colour palette. Earthy colours are used to express the area, and he saw a link between the landscape and the female nude, hills often appearing as contours of hips. His art is subjective,...
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